Before you buy a generator, it’s important to know the basic features. This means you can not only be sure you get the best model, but you know how to make sure it lasts the distance. At My Generator, we’ve put together a quick cheat sheet to help:
Type of oil: Most generators use 10W-30, 15W-40 or 20W-50 engine oil which are available from automotive shops. To be sure, check the recommended engine oil in the instruction manual.
Amount of oil used: Varies according to the engine model, length of time since the last oil change, amount of power produced and length of power outage. Check the manual for required maintenance procedures.
Fuel type for petrol generators: Unleaded fuel carrying a 95 or 96 RON rating is usually sufficient.
Long-range fuel tank: Enables you to run your generator for longer periods of time without worrying about refilling. A standard fuel tank might last between 2-6 hours whereas a long-range fuel tank can provide anywhere up to 12 hours or more of operation. Some generators can be customised to include a long-range fuel tank at extra cost.
Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR): Help the generator maintain consistent voltage output under varying loads, preventing voltage spikes and surges that can damage your appliances. Can be found on both petrol and diesel AVR generators.
Difference between kW and kVA: kW (kilowatt) is the unit of real power and kVA (kilovolt-ampere) is the unit of apparent power. In other words, kVA is the total power that appears to be flowing, but it includes the net power that is flowing in one direction as well as the amount of power circulating back and forth between the source and the connected load. The net power that is flowing from the source to the load is the real power, the kW. The difference between kW and kVA is the power factor (pf). Generators are usually shown with both ratings.
More questions? Check out our FAQ page.